DAYTON, Ohio – “Michael’s Mom” Deloris Jordan visited the Solvita Dayton Center Nov. 2 to champion the James R. Jordan Foundation mission of hard work in the service of others and to add her voice to the message of diversifying the blood supply to help sickle cell disease patients.
Mrs. Jordan met with Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims, Dayton Children’s Hospital sickle cell patient Camron Rucker, and the Solvita Minority Blood Inclusion Committee. Their goal is to raise awareness about the need for blood donations from African American donors for the better treatment of sickle cell disease and other conditions requiring transfusions from donors with matching racial background.
“Talk about it, there is no stigma, there is nothing to be ashamed of,” said Mrs. Jordan. “Address it, and say if they have survived, I can survive. It’s to raise your knowledge and support, your community, the Black community, it’s all communities.”
Mrs. Jordan first collaborated with Solvita Chief Operating Officer Diane Wilson in 2009 on a project to provide skin grafts for burn victims after a massive fire in Nairobi, Kenya. She invited Mrs. Jordan to meet with Solvita’s Minority Blood Inclusion Committee
Alayna Maxson, Solvita customer service manager and MBIC coordinator, said when the committee began advocating for sickle cell patients in 2022, 4.8% of Solvita’s blood donors identified as a minority. They hope to reach 7% by the end of this year.
“I believe that we can truly close the gap in the coming years if we continue to work together, ask questions, and roll up our sleeves,” she said.
“We’re trying to address with more and more awareness about young people falling into a space that is very critical for them,” said Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims.
They met Camron Rucker, a 17-year-old senior at Mound Street Academy, who has undergone treatment for sickle cell disease since birth.
“I appreciate what blood donors are doing, it means a lot,” said his mother, Monica Knox. “It’s lifesaving. He had to have transfusions once a month for a whole year. It’s a big help for him and for everyone with sickle cell.”
“They slowed down the effects I was feeling a lot,” said Camron. “Before I was receiving them, I would have episodes every other month. It helped a lot to get blood transfusions.”
“Camron, I want you to think about overcoming,” said Mrs. Jordan. “Overcoming comes with the belief that I can achieve. I can set goals.”
“It all goes back to the choice we make in life,” she said. “If your head tells you ‘you won’t do it,’ you won’t do it; If your heart tells you can do it, you will achieve it. Those are the things that you draw from, what is in your heart.”
“Do not stop giving, no matter what’s happened. Whether it’s your time, whether its money, whether it’s your blood. You can never stop giving and lifting up the next person.”